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1,4-Butanediol & GBL Storage
1,4-B & GBL May Dissolve Some Plastics
by Erowid
Jul 2001
Several users have reported that both 1,4-Butanediol and Gamma butyrlactone can dissolve some plastics over time. It does not appear that GHB has the same problem.

One user reported that storing 1,4-Butanediol in a translucent white film canister for 5 days caused the film canister to soften and begin leaking at a corner. Another reports that storing 1,4-B in a glass dropper bottle caused the plastic lid to soften slightly over time and that GBL dissolved the inside of a plastic kitchen measuring spoon used to measure the material.

A third individual writes :
Just wanted to let you know that I've had some experience with storing GBL in plastic containers. I've tried storing GBL in a standard water bottle (Evion/Disani/etc), and I found it to eat through the plastic in under two weeks. I've also had it eat through a mouthwash bottle (Listerine) in under a few hours. From what I've noticed, plastics that are see-through are dissolved the fastest. For some reason, it seems to dissolve different area's of the plastic at different rates. With both the water bottle and mouthwash bottle examples above, what would happen is that a few white "spots" would appear on the plastic. These spots would not be transparent, like the rest of the bottle. The spots would slowly grow, with the center of them becoming softer, until they cracked and the gbl began leaking out.

I've never had any problem storing GBL in high density plastic (poly-ethylene I believe). Based on my experiences listed above, I would not recommend any transparent plastic bottle for use of storage or transportation of GBL.

Also, I have accidently consumed GBL that had some disolved plastic in it, prior to noticing the spots on the plastic water bottle it was in. Although I didn't notice any different effects from the substance, consuming disolved plastic probably isn't the best thing for you.

Yet Another :
I was using GBL for over a year, constantly. I would take it all the time, including while surfing the net. By measuring it out and not being careful, I spilled drops on my computer keyboard. It melted the plastic keys and smeared the letters. Keep away from plastic of any kind.
Prolixity writes:
I have many plastic (cheap! but not accurate) filtration syringes at home. Usually, I will draw up 5mL (the entire volume) and adjust to my desired volume. After about two weeks of maybe 40 measurements, I noticed the rubber plunger had cracked and lost elasticity. After about 10 more measurements, The stopper broke off. This effect happens (although at a much slower rate) even when I rinse my syringes (DI-H20) after use.

Glass seems to be the way to go. I currently use some rather heavy and bulky 3mL glass syringes. My collection of 1,4 tetramethylene glycol (about five liters) is stored in 100 mL centrifuge tubes. When measuring the liquid, first I attach a .45 L filtration disc, draw up desired amount, discard first mL (to equilibrate the disc), and dispense.

M writes:
GBL most certainly dissolves some plastics.

In my experience, the only type of plastic that it will not dissolve or discolor is high-density polyethylene (HDPE). This plastic goes is also known as #2 recycled plastic--look for a number 2 in the triangle shaped recycling label. The best bottles for GBL storage are contact lens solutions and eye drops (check the bottom of the bottle, though, they aren't all #2).

Polyethylene/PET bottles, or #1 recycling will become soft and discolored in GBL--this includes most water bottles and soda bottles as well as some eyedropper bottles. Most polyester clothing and rugs are made from PET plastic, so GBL will disolve them as well.

Poly Vinyl Chloride, or type #3 is the worst--GBL will destroy this plastic utterly in a matter of minutes (including vinyl pants). Not many bottles are made from PVC.

Plastics types 4-7 are not likely to be fashioned into bottles, and I haven't seen firsthand what happens with any interactions, but they can be grocery bags (type 4), soda bottle tops (type 5), Plastic utensils (type 6), or others (type 7)--If it were me, I would assume that all of these will melt with GBL and be on the safe side.

Also, GBL is a remarkable substance for removing varnish and melting styrofoam and polystyrene. Fun at parties.

Also, the best way to take GBL, if your readers don't know already, is in a standard gelatin capsule (Not veggie-caps, they melt). You can get these at almost every drug store (health food/supplement stores always seem to have them). Standard gelatin won't melt with GBL (although most capsules leak a bit). This is a time consuming endevor, but if you really want to seal the capsules so they won't leak, lightly wet a q-tip and swab the inside of the capsule top (the small end) before sealing it, this will cause the gelatin to dissolve slightly and melt into the bottom portion of the capsule, sealing it in a few seconds (when the water dries). The advantage of this is that you can carry around pre-filled gel caps of GBL that contain a known quantity of GBL. What is this quantity?:

Capsule Size Approx liquid vol
000.77 ml
00.55 ml
10.41 ml
20.31 ml
Plastic-corrosive solvents such as 1,4-B and GBL should be stored properly in appropriate solvent-proof plastics or glass. While it is unclear what the health implications would be of ingesting 1,4-B that had dissolved plastic, plastics are obviously an undesireable additive in recreational drugs.